Our Annual Christmas Advent-ure…   4 comments

We have good friends, Patty and Jaimie Henderson, who I stole my new favorite family tradition from. A few Christmasses ago, we barged in on them with our 4 month old baby during the early Christmas season, and attempted our first time travelling with Bridget. Both mother and daughter welcomed us with open arms, and we had a fantastic day in Kingston, Ontario shopping, chatting, and drinking eggnog. Sadly, I didnt’ realize at the time that I was knee deep in Post-partum Depression, so when things didn’t go Norman-Rockwell-perfectly with our wee babe (and then I left our car unlocked overnight and it got broken into and they stole all our newly purchased Xmas prezzies), I completely lost it and made Will take us all home. So it was a bit of a pathetic weekend. But it is still one of my favorite memories. And I’ll tell ya why!

Patricia is a marvellously creative person – she is a writer, and a pretty fine Flamenco dancer (for an old broad!). She can also hide broccolies in almost anything and I don’t even know it until after I’ve eaten the healthy bits… Darn. So when I saw her that weekend fiddling with a beautiful wooden house sitting on her kitchen counter, I immediately became curious. It was a wooden advent calendar, where the doors were built right into the little house shape, and you could refill it every year. She was busy loading it with yummy Purdy’s chocolates, and other such gourmet treats. “Wow, how nice to get to pick your own nice quality chocolate”, I thought. But then she let me in on the real magic. She opened a few of the boxes, and instead of chocolate or candy, they held little tiny notes. Each one addressed to her daughter, each with a complex series of rhyming couplets containing the clues to a treasure hunt. Those led to little treasures that were too big to fit into the Advent Calendar. It totally stoked my imagination. She told me hers had come from LL Bean years previously, and that every year it was something they both looked forward to. And considering her daughter Jaimie is now driving, and looking at college in the fall, this tradition has some serious staying power.

So last year, when I was getting ready for Xmas, the memory floated back and I thought what a nice idea it would be to find one for our family. Lo and behold, LL Bean carries a different model every year. And finally, in their wisdom, LL Bean has started delivering to Canada for free – hurray! It took B a few days to get into it (heck, to remember it) last year, but at two, I guess that’s pretty normal. This year, she was totally on top of the Advent Calendar concept – the 8 year old son at her daycare has a Lego Calendar that he’s been talking about forever. So I pulled it out earlier this week, stuffed some days with chocolate, some with candy, and the rest with little notes that held a clue to the bigger gift’s hiding place. The bigger stuff would be things I would give her pre-Christmas anyhow: several winter/Christmas-themed books, some dollar store craft projects, etc. This just makes it a little more special.

Here are some pics of the first night:

Advent Calendar booty

Stuffing the Advent Calendar with Xmas booty

Opening day number one
Opening day number one
A little tiny "Llama Llama Red Pajama" doll (to match the new book)
A little tiny “Llama Llama Red Pajama” doll (to match the new book)
And a note! How exciting!
And a note! How exciting!
Hooray for Xmas treasure hunts!
Hooray for Xmas treasure hunts!
The note - not exactly Shakespear, but it'll do
The note – not exactly Shakespeare, but it’ll do
Dancing her way up to the 'Pajama drawer'
Dancing her way up to the ‘Pajama drawer’
What's this??
What’s this??
Ah, I love you Mommy!
Ah, I love you Mommy!

4 responses to “Our Annual Christmas Advent-ure…

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  1. What a wonderful idea! I got an idea similar to this one from another blog. I made tags, one for each day and on the back of them is an activity for both my son and I to participate in. I think that the holidays there is so much hustle and bustle that it’s good to stop and spend time with our little ones.

  2. Another great idea! I agree, Kim, sometimes I feel like the holidays rush by in a blur and I haven’t even stopped to “smell the baby heads”. Things like this remind me what this time of year is really all about – spending time together!

  3. We always remember that Christmas – love you all so much. We’ll see you in January for sure. Love from the wild gals of Kingston – Patty and Jaimie 🙂

  4. Pingback: Something old, something new… « Twinside Out: When twins make it "three under three"

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